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Security & Other Inadmissibilities

Are you inadmissible to Canada?
Is this inadmissibility based on security, human and international rights violations or organized criminality?


The primary grounds for inadmissibility in the criminal context are set out at sections 34 – 42 of the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act (IRPA).  With respect to inadmissibility on grounds of security (section 34), human and international rights violations (section 35) and organized criminality (section 37) we outline various considerations below. Please note that for the purposes of inadmissibility “permanent resident” refers to any individual who has acquired and not subsequently lost permanent resident status. “Foreign national” refers to any person who is not a Canadian citizen or permanent resident, and includes a stateless person.

Who is inadmissible?

Section 34

The IRPA states that inadmissibility on security grounds may result where it is determined that a permanent resident or foreign national is: engaging in an act of espionage that is against Canada or that is contrary to Canada’s interests;

a) engaging in or instigating the subversion by force of any government;

b)engaging in an act of subversion against a democratic government, institution or process as they are understood in Canada;

c) engaging in terrorism;

d) being a danger to the security of Canada;

e) engaging in acts of violence that would or might endanger the lives or safety of persons in Canada; or

f) being a member of an organization that there are reasonable grounds to believe engages, has engaged or will engage in acts referred to in paragraph (a), (b), (b.1) or (c)

Espionage under subsection 34(1)(a) refers to the practice of gathering information by spying, usually seeking information from a hostile country to benefit one’s own country. “Subversion” under subsection 34(1)(b) is the act of overturning or overthrowing a organization through illicit or improper means. “Democratic” under subsection 34(1)(b.1) refers to government by the people. Finally, “terrorism” under subsection 34(1)(c) relates to use or threats of acts of violence against persons or property with the intent of achieving some political objective.  The purpose of terrorism is, by its nature or context, understood to be to intimidate a population or to compel a government or an international organization to abstain from some action.

Section 35

Permanent residents or foreign nationals may be found to be inadmissible for human or international rights violations for the following reasons:

a) committing an act outside Canada that constitutes an offence referred to in sections 4 to 7 of the Crimes Against Humanity and War Crimes Act;

b) being a prescribed senior official in the service of a government that, in the opinion of the Minister, engages or has engaged in terrorism, systematic or gross human rights violations, or genocide, a war crime or a crime against humanity within the meaning of subsections 6(3) to (5) of the Crimes Against Humanity and War Crimes Act;

c) being a person, other than a permanent resident, whose entry into or stay in Canada is restricted pursuant to a decision, resolution or measure of an international organization of states or association of states, of which Canada is a member, that imposes sanctions on a country against which Canada has imposed or has agreed to impose sanctions in concert with that organization or association;

d) being a person, other than a permanent resident, who is currently the subject of an order or regulation made under section 4 of the Special Economic Measures Act on the grounds that any of the circumstances described in paragraph 4(1.1)(c) or (d) of that Act has occurred; or

e) being a person, other than a permanent resident, who is currently the subject of an order or regulation made under section 4 of the Justice for Victims of Corrupt Foreign Officials Act (Sergei Magnitsky Law).

For reference, “terrorism” under subsection 35(1)(b) holds the same definition as under 34(1)(c), as set out above. “Crimes against humanity” under subsection 35(1)(b) refers to those acts defined under section 6(3) to (5) of the Crimes Against Humanity and War Crimes Act, including murder, extermination, torture, sexual violence and deportation committed against a civilian population or identifiable group. “Genocide” under subsection 35(1)(b) refers to actions taken to destroy an entire group of persons, as defined under international law. Finally, “war crime” under subsection 35(1)(b) refers to acts or omissions committed during an armed conflict, as defined under intentional law or conventional international law applicable to armed conflicts.

Section 37

Finally, findings of inadmissibility on grounds of organized criminality may be made against permanent residents or foreign nationals for:

a) being a member of an organization that is believed on reasonable grounds to be or to have been engaged in activity that is part of a pattern of criminal activity planned and organized by a number of persons acting in concert in furtherance of the commission of an offence punishable under an Act of Parliament by way of indictment, or in furtherance of the commission of an offence outside Canada that, if committed in Canada, would constitute such an offence, or engaging in activity that is part of such a pattern; or

b) engaging, in the context of transnational crime, in activities such as people smuggling, trafficking in persons or laundering of money or other proceeds of crime.

“Transnational crime” under subsection 37(1)(b) refers to offending that extends beyond or operates across national boundaries.

Section 42.1(1)

Please note that, pursuant to section 42.1(1) of the IRPA, following an application by a foreign national, the Minister may declare that the matters referred to in sections 34, 35 and 37 do not constitute inadmissibility in respect of a foreign national if they satisfy the Minister that it is not contrary to the national interest.

Determination Process

Assessments of whether a non-citizen fits within one of the above categories must conclude that there are reasonable grounds to believe that the acts under investigation have occurred, are occurring or may occur. This test requires that information referred to in support of the decision is specific, credible and from a reliable source.

Determinations of inadmissibility under sections 34, 35 and 37 are under the purview of the Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA). Officers of the CBSA may take into consideration a variety of information in assessing inadmissibility. For findings of inadmissibility under section 34, the officer may collect the following types of evidence:

  • police or intelligence reports;
  • statutory declaration supported by evidence of statements made to an officer;
  • media articles, scholarly journal articles, expert evidence;
  • weapons or documentation in the person’s possession that indicate planned violence (for subsection 34(1)(e)); and
  • Any public information that establishes the propensity for violent acts by the individual.

For assessments under section 35, officers may collect any of the following information:

  • Statutory declaration supported by evidence that establish that the person concerned committed an act that constitutes a war crime as defined under international law;
  • Evidence that the act committed is contrary to international law or convention; and
  • Media articles, scholarly journal articles, expert evidence.

Finally, for assessments under section 37, officers of the CBSA may collect the following types of evidence:

  • police or intelligence reports;
  • statutory declaration supported by evidence of statements made to an officer;
  • proof that the alleged organization is involved in criminal activity; and
  • media articles, scholarly journal articles, expert evidence.

Overcoming Inadmissibility on These Grounds

Findings of inadmissibility under sections 34, 35 and 37 have serious ramifications as there is no right of appeal for permanent residents or foreign nationals under subsection 64(1) of the IRPA. These decisions may be challenged to the Federal Court of Canada in some instances. Please contact our office for further information and how we may be able to address inadmissibility under sections 34, 35, and 37 of the IRPA.

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What Our Clients Are Saying
Bellissimo Law has been the greatest help we could have asked for our journey. Our case needed an appeal which was very well organized, documented and presented to the authorities. We received a positive decision on the case all because of the expertise of Mr. Bellissimo and team. Keely and John are great at responding all smart and stupid questions and the team is very prompt to answer emails. They have the entire process streamlined, right from extension to evidences which makes our job easier. We got the quotes from some of the other law firms too who are all good and had lower charges. We chose Bellisimo because they are the best and in the long term a few extra bucks won't matter but the results will. Highly recommended.
Vaibhav Chaturvedi
Vaibhav Chaturvedi
16:51 06 May 19
Our immigration process was handled by Bellissimo Law Group. The first consultation with Mr Bellissimo was very insightful. Ms Keely Anderson was particularly very helpful. She guided us through the process. I will definitely recommend this law firm. They know what they are doing. Thanks once again for guiding us through the process.
Dare Sokoya
Dare Sokoya
19:27 28 Mar 19
I greatly recommend Bellissimo Law Group. After a long time waiting, I will finally be reunited with my son here in Canada. We are very grateful for all the great, very professional services that they have done for my case. My personal thanks to Kelly Anderson and her group. More power to all of you!
michele medalla
michele medalla
23:36 04 Mar 19
I wish I’d found Bellissimo Law 9 years ago before taking the advice of a so called Immigration Consultant who led our family to a very costly near disaster in our quest to immigrate to join our family in Canada. Years later, in desperation, at a Procedural Fairness Letter stage internet research seemed to suggest Bellissimo Law may be the company to deal with our problem. From the first consultation with Bellissimo Law their extremely thorough, very focused telephone interview personified professionalism and reassurance. All subsequent dealings with any member of the team were of the same high standard. It was clear to us that Mario Bellissimo leads from the front and that his staff not only respect him but that they are trained to match his standards and caring approach. I believe it is very important to mention that although they seem expensive, when our particular problem resolved more quickly and easily than anticipated they refunded the money which had not yet been used. Thanks particularly to Keely, our lead person, and to all at Bellissimo. I will always, highly recommend Bellissimo Law. Keep up the good work. In less than 6 months all our worries are over. We are now permanent residents.
Patricia Forsythe
Patricia Forsythe
23:33 22 Mar 19
Very professional and very informative on the phone. Good to see that it is not all about money and more about relationship building. Highly recommended. Thank you!
Atabak Amirabrahimi
Atabak Amirabrahimi
17:19 16 Apr 19
Great service and successfully guided us through the immigration and citizenship processes. Terrific attention to detail, and created a terrific case for our application, which was successfully approved. Attached is a picture with the judge. A wonderful day. So proud to be a Canadian!
Carlos Berber
Carlos Berber
15:45 26 May 19
Bellísimo law group made a dream a reality. They help me throughout the entire process of becoming a Canadian permanent resident. Great service. I will definitely use their services again in the future. Highly recommended
Jose Rendon
Jose Rendon
01:01 29 May 19
We had a fantastic experience with Bellissimo Law Group. From Mr. Bellissimo to the entire staff, in particular Viola Gniadek, were professional, diligent, knowledgeable and available at all times. We thank the entire group for a successful resolution for my friend Catherine. I would highly recommend the firm for any and all of your immigration needs. Thank you all for a job well done!
Liliana Pelech
Liliana Pelech
14:53 01 Jun 19
I sponsored my parents in 2007 and I was refused in 2013 based on medical inadmissibility of my mentally challenged brother. I found Late Mr. Rotenberg as my original lawyer who passed away during the process. I was very disappointed as I was counting on his expertise to help me with my situation. Mr. Bellissimo was God send for me to help me with my case. I am very thankful that he took on my case. His team member Ms. Tamara Thomas worked with me and advised me with regards to the documents that I needed to obtain, they did extensive research on eligibility criteria of various social and health systems. They worked with me on the interview preparation. The time spend working with them was very targeted and very specific to address the Minister's concerns. They ensured there was no further waste in time or any delays. The way they presented my case and helped me win it only a world class Law firm can do that as there were times I was going to lose my hopes. I would totally recommend this law firm to anyone who is going through similar situation as mine with both hands down. Mr. Bellissimo and the team (Ms. Tamara Thomas) you guys are amazing and thank you so much again for reuniting me with my family in my beautiful dream country Canada.
Irshad Khan
Irshad Khan
17:46 04 Jun 19
They’re very professional and the advice was given 100% accurate. The lawyer Justin Toh didn’t rush at all. He took the time to answer all our questions in details. I’m very happy with their service.
Shah Alam
Shah Alam
21:15 09 Jul 19
Great service! I had a lot of questions prepared and Viola answered each and every one of them articulately and concisely. I definitely recommend Bellissimo!
RYAN COWLEY
RYAN COWLEY
17:39 30 Jul 19
Hands down i would never done it by myself if it wasn't for Mr. Mario and Ms. Anderson hard work, I was facing deportation and they helped me step by step to get through it to be honest I am very forgetful person and Ms. Anderson always keep me on track and follow up with me making sure i get things done and send to her and they always keep me updated on everything, I am no longer facing such difficulties and i can stay in Canada. i would recommend Bellissiomo Law Group to all friends and Family. thank you again.
Omid Rezaee
Omid Rezaee
16:00 12 Aug 19